I’ve never attempted to make a list of favorite albums, primarily due to economic reasons I’ve never been able to listen to enough albums to make a fair judgment. But now we live in the age of the cloud and I subscribe to Rdio and have the opportunity to listen to a lot more albums than ever before. So, I’m going to give this a go, but I’m still not going to make a top ten, just eight favorites.
If you’re interested in more of the best albums of 2014, check out the lists compiled by my friends Erik and Jon.
The albums are arranged alphabetically by artist. I’ve included a sample song from each album, but check out SoundCloud, YouTube, or the artists’ websites for more. I’ve also included an Rdio playlist of all eight albums below.
Aphex Twin – Syro
The first album by Richard James released under the Aphex Twin moniker is a sonic wave of electronic noise and melody.
Clap! Clap! – Tayi Bebba
A project of Italian alian producer C. Crisci, Clap! Clap! creates dance music by combining electronic sounds with samples of traditional African music. While not the first effort to make this combination of sounds, Tayi Bebba is remarkably unique.
Ex Hex – Rips
Following up on the great supergroup project of Wild Flag, Mary Timony is back with another band that plays just straight-up great rock & roll. I haven’t fallen in love with an album this quickly in a long time.
FM Belfast – Brighter Days
An electronic-pop band from Iceland plays on all of my weakness. This music reminds me of the 1980s, but done right.
Moon Hooch – This is Cave Music
Moon Hooch is an all-sax band. Cave music is apparently saxophones playing swinging dancetunes that feel like acoustic EDM.
Annie Clark’s eponymous album is on all the best-of lists of this year, so I don’t need to say more than if you haven’t listened to it, check it out now.
3rdEyeGirl – PLECTRUMELECTRUM
Prince released two albums this fall, and this is the better of the two, a collaboration with a new all-woman band of guitar player Donna Grantis, drummer Hannah Ford and bassist Ida Kristine Nielsen. Prince responds well when challenged by working with other great artists, and this album has more of a rock vibe than I’ve heard from Prince in some time.
Ana Tijoux – Vengo
French-Chilean hip-hop MC blends Latin beats, R&B, and consciousness-raising lyrics.